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  • Writer's picturePeter McMenamin

The Significance of BIM Libraries in the Age of Digital Twins

In the ever-evolving world of architecture and construction, the transition towards a "Digital Twin" representation of our built environment is gaining momentum. Architects and design consultants are continually enhancing the realism of their models to create a more accurate reflection of the final product. At the heart of this revolution lies BIM (Building Information Modelling) libraries, a vital resource for industry professionals.

Understanding BIM Libraries

During the project's design phase, various building components such as doors, handrails, lighting, and fixtures are specified and integrated into the 3D BIM environment using what are known as BIM "Objects" or "Families." These objects serve as digital representations of real-world products in the BIM language, offering an unparalleled level of detail and functionality. When a company's product range is transformed into BIM content, it becomes a BIM Content "Library."

BIM Objects can take two forms: static or parametric 3D digital files. These objects do more than just represent products; they also incorporate embedded metadata, including product codes, technical specifications, warranties, supplier logos, contact information, 2D details, and data sheets. This valuable information can either be linked to or directly embedded within the BIM Object files. Commonly created using design software such as Revit, ArchiCAD, and SketchUp, BIM Objects are a cornerstone of modern design.

Attributes of BIM Objects

BIM Objects are not just 3D models; they are repositories of comprehensive product attributes, including:

1. Physical and Geometric Dimensions: Precise measurements ensure accurate spatial representation.

2. Purpose and Function: Understanding how a product functions within the building.

3. Lifespan and Maintenance: Information about maintenance requirements and product longevity.

4. Testing and Certification: Details regarding product testing and certification.

5. Performance Characteristics: Data on how a product performs under various conditions.

6. Sustainability Attributes: Environmental information in alignment with sustainability goals.

What BIM Means for Suppliers and Manufacturers

Building product suppliers and manufacturers now find themselves under growing pressure to provide BIM libraries of their products directly to designers. Designers, while capable of creating BIM Families themselves, prefer to access these libraries directly from suppliers or BIM product listing websites like EBOSS, BIMStop, BIMobject, and MEPAus. This trend not only saves time but also reduces costs.

Additionally, asset owners and facility managers are increasingly requesting "As-Built" BIM models with specific geometric accuracy and metadata. Suppliers that offer custom-built BIM Objects for their products ensure their accuracy, minimizing the risk of misspecification. Embedding product and supplier contact information within Families also enhances communication and keeps information current.

How BuildBIM Can Assist You

BuildBIM offers expert advice and modeling capabilities to building product suppliers and manufacturers, supporting the development of their BIM product libraries. Our services include:

  • Advice on BIM Object Development: We help you improve and develop your BIM Objects or Family Libraries.

  • Review of Current Stock: We assess your existing BIM Objects and suggest enhancements.

  • BIM Object Creation: We create new BIM Objects tailored to your products.

  • Upgrading BIM Objects: We modernize and optimize your existing BIM Object Libraries.

  • Maintenance of BIM Object Libraries: We ensure your BIM Objects remain current and aligned with industry standards.

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